tv The Rachel Maddow Show MSNBC December 12, 2014 1:00am-2:01am PST
>> a that is all in for tonight, and the "rachel maddow show" starts now. so we got into the whisker of another government shutdown tonight. and the government was due to shutdown at midnight eastern time, and if the congress did not find a way to fund it. we well, at 9:30 eastern time after a day of high drama and uncertainty, they did finally find the votes to keep the lights on, but it is what is known in the business as a total mess. >> nobody wants to shutdown the government. everybody here wants to have an answer and we could have an answer. all of the opposite side has to do is to stop supporting a bill that would allow the biggest banks in america to rip off the people one more time. with we bailed out the rich estebanks this in america with the people's money. and the people do not want that
anymore. i am the ranking member of the financial services committee, and i worked on dodd frank, and they are trying to undermine dodd frank and trying to get rid of dodd frank piece by piece and we have to fight it everyday, and i am not going to let the people down can. the democrats are not going to let the people down and we are not going to vote for anything that gives the the store to the biggest banks in america one more time. >> we should not allow the poison pills one more time. hold your nose and pass the bill. >> it puts a big bow on the holiday giftt for the wall street contributors who get special treatment in provisions of the bill. once again here in the holiday season, it is all about the stuffing the silk stockings. and these people want to gamble with our money. when these big banks win, they get to keep all of the money, but when they lose, they look to the taxpayer to bail them out.
>> i rise in support of the bill. notwithstanding my vigorous objection to the two provisions. i rise because i frankly think that pursuing c.r.s, continuing resolutions, on a continuing basis is harmful to our economy, harmful to the growth in jobs, harmful to our national security, and i regret, i regret that the homeland security bill has not been included for a year as well. we undermined national security by that limitation. but never theless, in a world of alternatives, i have concluded ha that it is better for us to pass this cromnibus than it is to defeat it. so i urge the members to vote for the cromnibus tonight. >> and nobody knew if it was going to pass tonight or if it would. and so it did by a squeak.
and the democrats fighting with most obviously with one another. and the house democrats wanted to vote with the republicans on this, and the house democrats felt that the republicans had pulled a fast one and no mood to help john boehnor to make up votes that he could not get from his own side, and the democrats whipped the vote against it, and in the end, the democrats did provide enough votes for john boehner to get it through. and joining us now after a dramatic night is steve israel of new york, the outgoing member of the house campaign committee who is one of the house democrats who voted no on this, even after enough house democrats voted yes to get it passed. thank you, congressman israel, for being with us, and why did you vote no tonight, and work on the effort to get other democrats to vote no on this? >> i voted no on this, because
this budget rewarded big banks. it rewarded big donors, and there are certain things that define democrats, and providing relief to big banks, and big donors and leaving the working class and families out in the cold is not one that democrats should enable. it would have been one thing for the john boehner and the republicans to find enough votes to pass it, but it is another thing for the house democrats to put it over the top, and that is why i worked so hard to defeat it. >> the democratic votes on it is the issue. the republicans knew they would lose some of the member, and they did not make that much of an effort to hold on to their own members when they panicked a little bit today, and what do you think was enough to turn more than 50 democrats around to vote for this thing today? the pressure from the white
house or what were you hearing from the colleagues when you were asking them for a no-vote? >> well, it is a combination of thing, and one is the pressure of the white house, and when the white house issued a statement of policy saying that they would support the bill, that hurt our chances. secondly, many of my colleagues thought that the individual pieces of the budget were good enough to kind of hold our nose on those two onerous provisions. and for those who say that we don't have a message, we have messages, and the republicans wrote it for us, we have a reward for the donors and the rich and the financial institutions and the the democrats are the ones who actually enable us. so it is one thing to bail out the rich and the big banks, and the big donor, but we bailed out the republicans on the bailout by providing the votes, and i think it is a fundamental mistake. >> i can hear the frustration
and the emotion in your voice when you are talking about it, and you could see it building all day with the work that was being done and the tone of the voice that people took to the floor of the house, and then once the vote happened, i have to ask you, sort of in all candor, how damaged is the relationship between house democrats and the white house because of this, because of part of what you are angry at the white house, and the influence here? >> this in all candor, there is a lot of announce here with the white house, and however, when we come back to start the new congress in january, we will need to regroup and stand shoulder to shoulder, because the republicans in the house, and with the new majority in the senate, they will give the working class and the families a war every single time that the gavel is banged, and we have to stick together, and defend our constituents from what is going to be a daily assault by these republicans. oso today, some friction, no question about it, but on january 6th when the new
congress convenes, we have to stand shoulder to shoulder, and define ourselves as democrats, and define ourselves as willing to defend the middle-class and the working families every single day against this assault. that is what makes us democrats, and we have to act as democrats going forward. >> congressman steve israel from new york after a long night, and thank you very much. appreciate it. >> thank you, rachel. >> i want to bring in another congressman who voted no, john sarbanes from maryland. thank you for being with us tonight. appreciate it. >> thank you. >> why did you votet no, and did you expect the outcome tonight when the vote finally came down? >> well, i was disappointed with the outcome and i voted no, because i felt that we shouldn't have been giving another sweetheart deal to wall street and to big banks, and of course, a provision in there that did that, and at the same time, there was a wall street giveaway, and we also had the provision in there that allows the wealthiest and the most well
connected in the country to give more money to the political process. sot a time when the public wants us to listen to them and count their voice, we are going to the opposite direction to the powerful and the special interests, and that is why i voted gains the bill. >> in terms of the course of the day, and the draw pla today, there was a procedural vote today in which the democrats crossed over to vote with the republicans, and at that point, there was a wake-up call that the democrats might stand together and say no to deprive the republicans of their vote on this, and what happened between the procedural vote, and the vote tonight that put more than 50 democrats on the republican side when the final tally came down? >> well, at the procedural vote that you are talking about, it is possible if you voted down the rule they would go back to the rules committee, and the republican majority would go back to the rules committee and take out the two particularly
offensive provisions to the democrats. i am not surprised that all of the democrats stood together at that point in time, because there was a way procedurally to open up the bill back up. once it did not happen, and then you got to the substance of the underlying bill, then people would vote on a variety of the bases, and obviously, some democrats who felt a that they should support it, but the great majority of the democrats opposed it. it is the right position to take, and the great majority of the people who supported this in the end were republicans, and i think that they showed that they stand with wall street and the big banks, and for the big donor s out there, and not with everyday citizens across the country, and, you know, i think that they will learn a lesson from that over time, because the public is angry, and the public wants to be heard and they want us to turn our attention to them. >> thank you, congressman sarbanes, i know it has been a
long and stressful day. thank you very much for joining us. >> and today, 67 republicans voted no. so there were more republican defections than democratic defections, but they needed the democratic votes to get it pass and that is how they got it passed. it is an amazing thing, and it is kind of amazing, because it is not even six weeks of the election, and now we got within a couple of hours of another government shutdown, tonight, and a country with a national press which is insularly focused on with washington, and with the saturation of the coverage that we get of washington politics, what happened tonight, and how close we got to the shutdown the night is something that the beltway press totally missed. and the beltway press had no idea that the drama was coming to nougat, and they had -- tonight, and they had been assuring us no chance of, this and the leadership in congress, and particular willy speaker john boehner and he said, hey, listen, i have a plan, and no drama and no threat of the shutdown, and the beltway press
dutifully wrote it down, they have a plan and this is not going to happen, and therefore, we are sure it won't happen. but you know, if you don't write down what they say and instead, you look around at the political active they visibility around you, this is something that more people should have seen coming, right? the first signs that this is going to be a dramatic thing, and a narrowly averted shutdown or possibly a shutdown and the first signs of the real drama here came from the right. and once the house republicans explain odd the reporters the brilliant plan and how to keep the government fund and placate the tea party base and definitely, definitely steer clear of the shutdown of the government, and when they floated that plan, the right got mad in a way that was visible. the heritage foundation for example, they did more than anyone else in politics to bring about the last government shutdown a year ago and when the republicans in congress explained the brilliant plan for
not having a government shutdown, this time around, the heritage foundation went nuts. they said that the john boehner republican plan to avoid the shutdown was a blank check for president obama's lawless amnesty. that is what they have been telling the folks and the members of congress who want good scorecards from them, right? that is the vocal position, and they would be perfectly happy to have a shutdown and they did not want to do what the republican leadership wanted to do. it was obvious there, and obvious on the right wing talk radio. and the beltway press with assurances, nobody wants a government shutdown and left, right, center, nobody wants it. and everybody agrees a bad idea. on right wing talk radio ever since the election, they have been lusting after the
government shutdown and talking about the shutdowns are not a bad idea at all, and how the republicans shut it down last year, and then they won the last election really big so it is not something to hurt the republicans at all and they don't want to do what the republican leadership says they ought to do and if it costs the shutdown, with well, then, fine. and on this show, we have had fun talking about the signs of the conservative blogs and not going as tidily as the beltway said it should go. and one of the conservative blogs not only opposed what the republican leadership should do, but to nail ball, and physical balls, and like in super balls or racquetballs, but ball, balls, balls, and they wanted to mail balls to speaker john boehner to send him some balls, because they thought he was wussing out. so they had plans, but they wanted to send him some balls. so they felt that there was something going wrong on the right side of the political spectrum on the side to get it done, but the narrative is that on the beltway that john boehner
had the plan to bring in the crazy right wingers in the republican party to go with him, and the plan would work, and it would be fine and everything would be quiet, but then the chilly press conference with ted cruz and michele bachmann and louie gohmert, and not only did they not fear a government shutdown, but any member of congress who went with john boehner and voted for this, and any member of congress who did that should not be allowed to take the oath of office in january, and so all along the beltway, it is fine. and john boehner says it is going to be fine, and it is obviously fine, don't worry about it, because it is not going to be hard to pass. so there are the signs on the right that it would be hard to pass and also signs at john boehner's office that maybe it is going to be hard to pass. we know the time line now, right?
the government is due to run out of money tonight. and we have all, and you know, that is a scheduled thing. and as we have been approaching this deadline, which you can see from the mile off, there are signs like starting a roughly a week ago that even in john boehner's office, this plan with not looking as easy as it was supposed to be, and we were told that the bill to avoid the shutdown would be monday morning and pushing it since the shutdown is thursday, but it gives them plenty of time to be passed this the house, and the senate before the government is shutdown thursday night, and monday morning, and kind of last-minute, but monday morning came and went, and no, no, no late monday. then it came and went and then first thing tuesday morning, and then first thing tuesday morning came and went and then told us later in the day tuesday, and later in the the day came and went, and no bill. with what is going on? thursday is the shutdown, and tuesday afternoon, still no bill. tuesday at almost 9:00 p.m., they dropped it.
then everybody sat down the read it. like 1,600-page bill, and as the beltway press is combing through it, and looking at the lists of the new budget, and it is the plan and pass it and easy peasy and everything is done, and as that is happening, meanwhile from the whole new quarter of american politics, there is a new raft of signs that the plan is maybe not going to work. and this things are not okay. and this time, the signs from the right flank of the republican party, and now from the new edition, once we got to the bill, the democrat saw from the republicans had actually filed after all of those delays late at night when they finally filed the thing on tuesday, and by the time the they read it, and went back to work on wednesday morning a lot of the democrats had their hair on fire, because the republicans had stuck a bunch of stuff in it that the democrats said they had
no idea was coming, and it is stuff that they don't like and particularly the issue of the big banks and putting the taxpayers on the hook again to bail them out with the financial collapse. so then they saw what was in the bill, and they started to bail. this is the two problems that the beltway didn't care about became a big problem, and looked tonight like another big government shutdown and got us to another couple of hours within one. and the big fight on the right, and the republicans knew they had a fight with the right flank, and they were upsetting the conservative organizations, and the tea party folks, and that part of the party, they were not going to be voting for that plan, and they would have some defections, and the reason they did not care about, that and they told the beltway press not to worry about that and the beltway press went along with that is that the leadership said that they took it for granted that any votes they lost with their own party they could more than make up with for the democrat votes.
and they said, oh, the democrat votes will make up for it, aped they could lose a few michele bachmanns and the democrats would give them whatever votes they could take it for granted, and the way we know they took it for granted is be by how they behave and the last minute, they put a whole bunch of stuff in the bill that they knew that the democrats would set their hair on fire about, and they figured, oh, they are are democrats, and we will get their vote anyway. and the democrats for a while there showed some spine and made it seem they would not do it. there was elizabeth warren doing a press conference with maxine waters on the the democratic financial services committee, and not immune to fight, because of the republican provision which appears to have been written by a citigroup lobbyist to put americans back on the hook to bail out the banks this the risky trades like in the financial collapse and maxine
waters gathered more democrats in her office to halt this thing, and nancy pelosi said, no, and she would not put the names of her constituents on this bill, and she sent a letter to everybody, and thanked them for voting no. and she sent a letter to the whip saying that if the democrats vote no, the base will stand with them. and she said that the base is high on this, and she cited all of the idealism for the people who support us. and with that, everybody who had been writing down what john boehner said that it is super easy and no drama, and everybody had an unexpectedly long date the office. they took the first vote which is to be no drama and no problem, and the plan was to have a few republican defections, but they would have the democratic votes.
with when they took the first votes, it was no democratic votes, and john boehner started to personally go to democrats. and the reindeer congressman changed his vote. they changed it by two votes, and they had what was supposed to be easy, and after this unexpected vote of no democratic votes, and they stayed in recess all afternoon long and all through the evening and dinner time until after 9:00, and the government shutdown was set to happen after midnight tonight if there was no funding bill set to pass. and then everybody thought it was going to be simple. but it was chaos. and the cabinet presidents were on the phone to persuade them to vote yes and go along with john boehner and the plan to go yes on this. they thought they were going to be fine. the house democrats are usually on the same side, but on this,
no. they took the democratic votes to bail john boehner out for granted, but except for the people who those votes had to come from. and it ended up to be a chaotic day in washington. everybody thought that the shutdown was going to be no deal, and we got to within less than three hours. stay with us. this is about the friday night stuff that we are doing, and this is about the friday night mini cocktail shaker, and you have been offering junk
this is about the friday night stuff that we are doing, and this is about the friday night mini cocktail shaker, and you have been offering junk around the office, and -- >> are we running out of junk that we have to be selective what to do? >> yes. we have the racquetballs or maybe this cheesehead that we have been sitting around. >> i am not ready to give up the cheesehead. no. >> i grabbed staple puller off of my desk. >> all right. >> i think that it is -- >> keep that. keep that, and send these. so as the battle continues to avoid a imminent capital shutdown inside today rages on, look at this as congressional
so as the battle continues to avoid a imminent capital shutdown inside today rages on, look at this as congressional staffers as well as some members of congress staged a walk-out from the u.s. capital today, and see them with the hands up? it is protests of the deaths of michael garner and -- eric garner and michael brown. this was a dramatic thing to see. >> today, as people throughout the nation protest for justice in our land, forgive us when we have failed to lift our voices or the those who couldn't speak or breathe for themselves. >> senate chaplain barry black leading a prayer at this dramatic walkout today of congressional staffers and some members of congress protesting
in a limited number of cases, these should be rightly repudiated by all. >> as far as we know, that was the first time that has ever happened in the united states of america. when the cia director gave a public televised press conference, we've been scouering the archives all day and asking the reporters who know these things, but as far as we can tell, we think that this is the first time a cia director has ever done that. director john brennan speaking today. we will have more on that ahead. and to the points you don't see much of. this happens sometimes in congress, but not very much of. this is a hearing in the united states senate. they're interviewing a witness at this moment in the hearing, but you cannot see that witness because the witness is hidden behind that screen next to the black drape.
at the time of this hearing in 2009, that witness could not reveal his face to the public. he was a special agent with the fbi. his name is ali soufan. he is the guy who uncovered the first solid link between 9/11 and al qaeda. he accomplished a that because he was a highly skilled, highly experienced interrogator for the fbi and that is his job to get information out of people who with we desperately need to talk. a few months after 9/111, he was sent to interrogate this man who was a high volume member of al qaeda who was captured the in a gun fight, and he was shot multiple times, and so when abu al zabaydah came into u.s. custody, he was in terrible shape. all of this has been redacted.
and then, they started asking him questions. and zubaydah, america's first big get in the war against al cay that, he talked to his interrogators. over the course of that interrogation, he told detailed information about the inner workings of al-qaida. he revealed the the al-qaida supervisor for the 9/11 operation. they did not know he was al-qaida. once they learned that, our country learned, basically, who done it. right? which terrorist group attacked us. that f.b.i. interrogation was successful. it produced real information that the u.s. needed and was able to act on. but then something changed. the c.i.a. sent in some new guys to start a whole different kind of questioning. and these contractors were not
doing things in the usual way. they stripped him naked, they blasted loud music into his cell, they eventually went onto waterer board him dozens of times. these contractors were bart of a new c.i.a. torture program. they were sent to torture this al cay that prisoner, help though he had already been talking without torturing. frequently, people make the case that it's supposed to be that there's no time to waste. that a time bomb is ticking somewhere. but those c.i.a. contractors who came in and took over, they seemed to have plenty of time for this guy. the first stage of their torture was that they put in in solitary confinement with zero human contact for 47 days before they ever asked him a single question. after 47 days of zero human contact, they we believe the straight into 17 days of torture, including water boarding him more than 80 times.
and instead of talking, instead of continuing to reveal what he knew, the intergaiter whose work had been successful and productive, he described what happened next in that senate testimony in 2009 from behind that screen. >> when we interrogated him, use ing sbel jentd intergagsz methods, within the first hour, we gained important actionable intelligence. >> you say on the instructions of the contractor, harsh technique were introduced which did not produce results as zubaydah shut down and stopped talking: correct? >> correct, sir. >> since then, f.b.i agent has been able to become more public. he's written a terrific book about his experiences and he has been a guest on this show. that appears to be alaska
senator which would be a very unusual disguise. where did that come from? we haven't talked about him at all? but there is still a mystery at the heart of this story. we still do not know why the krchlt i.a. came up with this idea. why did the c.i.a. decide to start a torture program? they didn't have an existing torture program. and it wasn't that they had the people in dust kill custody and the normal methods weren't working. the normal methods were working. but despite that, an abstract policy decision was made to proactively come up with a plan to start torturing people even though there was no real world impetus for doipg it among the people we had captures eed. why? and who made that decision?
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if there is some unknowable value to these techniques to waterer boarding, near drowning, slamming people against the wall, hapging them in stress positions, confining them in small boxes or coffins, threatening them with drills, waving guns around their head as they are blindfolded, what or which of these techniques could be used if, as the director of central sbel jenls you and another president or this president were faced with an eminent threat? could there be another covert finding and rules of add viesz from the attorney general that would lead u.n. successors to say we should do this because there could be some value to prevent an attack on america? >> as far as what happens in the future, there is some type of
challenge that we face here, the articleny field manual is established basis to use for interrogations. we, cia, are not in the detention program. we are not con testimony plating at all getting back into the tension program using any of those eits. so i defer to the policymakers in future times when there is going to be the need to be able to ensure that this country stays safe if we face some other type of cry sisz. >> i defer to the policymakers, means if they want to do this again, they know our number. we know how to do this stuff. joining us now is ali sufan, a former f.b.i. special agent. he's the author of the black banners, the inside story of e 9/11 and the war against al-qaida. i have to just ask you as somebody who is the initial interrogator of the first al-qaida tar get, your story and that piz e prisoner are a big
part of just what was presented out by the senate sbel jensz committee. did they get it right from your perspective? and how did you feel bringing that report? >> reading that report made me really angry. a and it matches a hundred percent what i witnessed when i saw. i know they didn't talk to any of us. they didn't talk to people in the 236789 b.i. or the cia who were invoefled in the program. but they did what we do sometimes if government. they say e if e if it's not on paper, they went and look aed at millions of doms. and they really compiled the largest report in envis gaitive history. 38 footnotes based on millions of cables and communications that thirp able to read. my experience, from what i was involved in, the part i was
imvolved in is a hundred percent 5:00 rat. >> well, the key -- the few things that are key about your experience in terms of what we're learning abthis as a country, and one of them is that you were able to get quality sbel jenls thafgs actionable for the united states and that was, in fact, key to us being able to say al-qaida did it, without being able to use any torture techniques. the other thing that we have learned is that december piet that, some sort of decision was made somewhere that torture os techniques should be used december piet the fact that in iii prisoner has been talking to you. how did you experience that in realtime? did you know why the c.i.a. was doing this? or, in fact, that the c.i.a. was going to do it until it happened? >> actually, nobody knew. a lo of people from the inc.en sill were with us, they were shocked. and as i testified, the only statement under oet of nibble involved in the program. some people there the c.i.a. ef
left before me. >> as you see -- >> once the enhanced interrogation techniques, once the torture started, they left. >> exactly. once they started seeing all the things happening, they disagreed. the enhanced interrogation techniques didn't start until the summer. but they were different interpretation of what they called standards interrogation techniques. and what's the level of the standard interdpagsz tech neegs. it's like what i described to the senate with the music or the sleep deprivation at the time to 24 hours only. >> and you hadn't been doing that in terms of an f.b.i. interrogator. >> people from the c.i.a. who were there were shocked. that program, to be honest with you, my experience, and this is what i testified about, it's not a c.i.a. program. it's a few people in the c.i.a.
with some outside contractors that they tried to run the most sensitive program in u.s. history basically after 89/11. and so they came over and decided to out source the most important thing we have. getting information from detainees. zabaydah was not the first terrorist that we arrested. we had investigated people involved in the east africa embassy bombing. we were able to get con fegszs from them. we were able to interrogate people who were imvolved and get confessions. we almost stopped 9/11 based on our interrogations. however, as we know, there was a chinese wall between the intelligence and the contract so the information would not pass to the f.b.i. on a timely basis to sop the investigation. this is not me who's saying that. this is a 9/11 commission. and so we know how to interrogate people. what shocks me is to see that
there were some people in washington at the time. they were con vinsed that no one should be involved but them. it's an institutional thing. it's their piece of cake in the fight against terrorism. they were able which youly having meetings with power points, how to warn off the fchlt b.i. and the military. they have people who know how to interrogate. have people who know how to get the seat belt jens. basically, they have a program where more than 80% of the people who were involved were not agency people. they were probably a few dozens. >> when they showed up and they started with the nudity and the shackling and the first stuff that they did that really departed from what you had been doing, did you recognize those techniques that they were doing as something that was an option? i mean, when you trained, those were things that were available to you?
>> everyone before eit, some of the stuff that they're proposing, if we saw it in the united states or any police station or in the f. pitch i. office; people would go to jail for it. and we're not talking about eits at the time. so when iits happened, some of the cables that came out from the black sites, you you will know, when they were doing water boarding, there was one cable that said there were tears. >> right. some of the c.i.a. staff there were in tears. >> and i know these guys. those tears were not tears because there were e tlfgs any sympathy to a terrorist. those were slr similar to when you checked when you were talking about thisment those tears were real tears of pay trotism. >> still one of the best sources that we've got on the e thoo e sunts. thank you very much. >> we've got much more ahead.
>> breaking news, if you're just doing the math, it passed. avoiding what could have been a government shutdown inless than three hours had congress been unable to pass a spending bill by midnight tonight, the house republicans added a whole bunch of policy riders. the house shutdown at 2:00 this afternoon when they thought they could not get this thing passed. they reopened and started voting on the bill. they came back into session shortly after 9:00 p.m. tonight. speaker john boehner working the floor, trying to persuade both democrats and republicans to vote for the bill. the white house, including cabinet secondaries and vice president biden and president obama whipping this vote, trying to get democrats to vote for this tonight. and just a few minutes ago, the bill has now officially passed the house. 219 to 206.
i'm still getting confirmation on this. tell me if i'm wrong. but as far as i can tell, 57 yes votes from democrats and 67 no votes from republicans. is that right? so 57 democrats haed to cross over to save john boehner's bacon after threatening all day long they would not, they did. the house will now vote on another bill that would just -- that only serves the purpose of giving the senate a couple more days to get this done. another couple of days to get their own vote on the spending bill. provided that happens, which there's no reason to think it won't, as of now, government shutdown averted by 2 1/2 hour.
conditions warrant, one of the things we do on this show is called "and now here's a thing." behold. >> are you smart enough to be president of the united states? >> i think the standpoint of life's experiences, running for the presidency is not an iq test. >> and that is a thing that happened. i didn't make it up. we'll be right back.
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new meta health bars help promote heart health. experience the meta effect with our new multi-health wellness line. ♪ >> for the past couple of years now, the great state of california has been enduring the worst drought in a zillion years. kind of literally. the most severe drought in 1,200 years. not that anybody is counting. just this year alone, california has had the least hateful since we started keeping hateful records in california. the state is not just dry, it is freaking parched. rivers and lakes have all but vanished. the state's sources of drinking water, major reservoirs are way below capacity. farmland has had to go fallow. some parts of the state, people no longer have running waters in their home. they have to rely on water being
trucked in. everybody in the state has been directed to strictly conserve water. state and city ordinances have upped the fines for people found wasting water. and it's been like this for a long while now. this has been a very severe drought and a very long one. finally this week, they are getting a bit of relief in the golden state. but i'm not sure this is the kind of relief anyone wanted. this was san francisco's embarcadero this morning. water already crashing over the sea wall there. enough to close streets and knock out power, even four hours before high tide. that was just the beginning. rain pounded the bay area all day. hurricane force winds, flash flooding led to blackouts in more than 200,000 homes today. heavy downpours affected the commute in a major way. public transportation suspended in much of the city. flooding got so bad on city streets that, as you can see here, people were practically swimming around.
on a few streets, the sewer system was overflowing to the point of blowing off manhole covers. bay area school districts canceled school today in preparation if for what was anticipated tosh this big storm. that said, this is california and so anything can be an excuse to get your kayak out. it also being california, some people cars oddly ended up being unexpectedly made for this kind of weather. they're saying this is a once in a decade storm, although once in a whatever time period weather formats right now no longer seem do hold true anymore. they're saying it's the effect of an atmospheric river. they call these sorts of storms the pineapple express. because they say this very wet air is coming from basically the vicinity of hawaii. while this thing is absolutely dousing much of northern and central california today, eight inches on san francisco today, the state still needs another 10 or 20 inches of rain this year
to get out of the record drought. let's hope it doesn't all come in one day. thanks for being with us. good evening, lawrence. we fell short when it came to holding some accountable for their mistakes. a heavy toll in the northeast and a pineapple express in the west. good morning, everybody. thank you for joining us today on this friday. i'm betty nguyen.